CASSIES Silver: Molson Canadian 67 targets non-beer drinkers

CP+B and Molson Coors Canada find a new way to position a low-cal beer, reaching out to those who choose wine, cocktails and coolers.

SILVER: Packaged Goods Beverage

Situation Analysis: The Canadian beer market has stagnated, and at about $20 million in profit per share point, everyone is trying to take share from everyone else. One reason for the stagnation is that beer’s down-to-earth image is under attack by a shift toward more sophisticated tastes. As a result, within beer, light beers are winning. This was an opportunity to launch Molson Canadian 67, the lowest calorie beer in Canada. The objective was to source at least half of volume from people who usually chose wine, cocktails and coolers, and to have a 0.20% share of English Canada by the end of 2010.

Strategy & Insight: A low-calorie beer runs the risk of being seen as a “chick beer,” so appealing to both men and women was essential. But how? Research uncovered that most people underestimated the calories in wine and cocktails, while overestimating the calories in beer. Given that Molson Canadian 67 has about half the calories of wine and mixed drinks, a comparison to other alcoholic beverages would allow people to make informed decisions.

Execution: Advertising started in October 2009 using TV, print, online and out-of-home. TV used tiny glasses to contrast the 67 calories of wine or mixed drinks with the 67 calories of Molson Canadian 67. Print and out-of-home used a side-by-side comparison to dramatize the same point. Online banners encouraged people to experience the truth for themselves, while PR complemented the effort with key influencers.
Results: Reflecting the objective, research showed that over half of Molson Canadian 67 drinking occasions were replacing another type of alcoholic beverage. Sales met the 0.20% target within the first three months, and were at 0.39% by the end of 2010. Sales volume virtually doubled the ingoing projections.

Cause & Effect: Ad recognition was above norm, as was comprehension that Molson Canadian 67 has about half the calories of wine or mixed drinks. Spending levels were not unusual. Pricing was aligned with mainstream beers, and there was very limited discount pricing. Distribution was taken into account when the objectives were established. And there was no unusual promotional activity.


Molson Coors Canada
senior director, marketing, Molson brands: David Bigioni; brand manager: John Francis

CD: Aaron Starkman; AD: Scott Park; copywriter: Peter Gardiner; planner: Ryan Roberts; content manager: Naomi Olsen; studio production: Jennifer Dark; director of technology: Arthur Fullerton; interactive designer: Ravi Aujla; developer: Waqar Ahmed

agency producer: Rea Kelly; photography: Ian Campbell; producer: Tara Handley; executive producer: Angie Colgoni; production house: Wilfred Park; director: Kevin Donovan; editing house: Panic & Bob; editor: Matthew Kett; music company: RMW Music; music director: Ted Rosnick

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